Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What Every Parent Needs to Know about Bringing Baby to San Francisco... Part 1.

In my 20's I used to run around San Francisco free and easy drinking in the bars, dancing in the clubs and when I had the funds having a chic meal with my friends. I took one very important thing for granted: The bathroom, i.e. "the ladies," "powder room," "facilities" where I would pee out my four, five beers, reapply lipgloss and gossip with my girlfriend about my hot date...

Fast forward to now, and I'm just another San Francisco mom who somehow skipped the 'burbs and finds herself toting around a little person who cannot go to the bathroom by himself! Life's challenges! I quickly learned the value of a baby-friendly (even marginally so) bathroom. So, when nature calls your little pal here's one San Francisco baba-bathroom hotspot: (More to come!)

1. Should the name Delfina Pizzeria Mission and the phrase baby bathroom be used in the same sentence? Why yes! Especially, if you are a particularly foodie-inclined parent. For my birthday, my Big Man and my Little Man took me to Delfina Pizzeria (18th St location) for their delicious artisan pies, arancini, meticulous salads and incredible wine list. As we dined al fresco in the soothing summer heat it felt just like the good ole pre-baby days until... my Little Man threw his handcrafted Tuscan breadsticks across the table at me and began howling at the waiters.
These are the signs of possible diaper issues. At this point, my hubs and I usually draw straws for bathroom reconnaissance: Is there a fold-down changing table, or any relatively sanitary surface to handle Little Man's business? Lazily, I asked the waiter and he informed us, No. No changing table. BUT, when I went to the ladies to "make do" I discovered he was wrong. SO wrong! I actually whistled as I changed that diaper on a very sleek, Euro-style changing table. The changer's inside wall even has bubble baby graphics to instruct how to safely and efficiently lay baby down—A stranger could change your baby's diaper at Delfina Pizzeria!

BONUS TIPS: If you're nowhere near a proper baby bathroom here are a few things I've learned about diaper-changing on the fly...

- Recline your stroller as far as it will go, put up the hood, stroll to a quiet corner and change your baby's diaper  in the stroller. This is totally acceptable (as long as it's acceptable to you!). You might think twice if you're in a restaurant, and in general steer away from people eating when going for this MacGyver move.

- San Francisco's well-groomed parks and hyper-sanitary playgrounds are your child's public changing station. Although many of the city's parks and playgrounds have public bathrooms equipped with changing tables they may not always be open, convenient or clean. I know more than a few parents that are more comfortable changing their baby in the great outdoors than a park bathroom. Enter the very baby-changing friendly parks and playgrounds. Find a discreet corner with a clean flat surface, whip out your handy washable blanket (that you always keep in your diaper bag), lay Baba down and change away. If your baby bag came with a portable changing pad or you're rocking your designer diaper "clutch"--even better!

- If you're traveling into San Francisco keep a short list of local playgrounds with bathrooms. You never know when you're going to need an emergency pit-stop before meeting your peeps at some trendy spot without kid-friendly facilities. Especially in the first year crazy poo blowouts can have absolutely no rhyme or reason. Just when you've stepped off the BART or stuck in traffic on 280, the poo can happen. Upper Noe Valley Recreation Center  (Day Street) has awesome baby bathrooms that are open all day and just a short drive from 280 and 101 exits. Mission Pool and Playground (enter on Valencia or Linda Streets) also has great facilities just a few blocks from 16th and 24th street BARTs.

My bowels seem to move shortly after I eat and there's no bathroom in sight... Luckily, mama carries a muslin baby blanket everywhere we go, and the grass is so soft here on the West Bluffs!

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